Sunday, September 4, 2016

244. Don't take it personally

Yesterday was my first day at the Minnesota State fair since 2010. I was excited to go despite the crowds, the cost, and the long day on my feet. I wanted some cheese curds, some swag from the Minnesota Public Radio booth, and a few beers while I watched Weezer. Those things all did happen, but first my brother and I had to wait.

We couldn’t find a parking spot for one of the free shuttles early in the afternoon because a few of the streets near the entrance had been shut down due to protesters from Black Lives Matter. It was a particularly poignant protest because it was near where Philando Castille was shot and killed a few months ago during a traffic stop.

This caused a backup in the shuttle staging area where my brother and I were waiting. The buses couldn’t come back because the streets were closed. Naturally, a number of the people waiting to go to the fair were annoyed. I’ll admit, I was too. Why did they pick this day and at this time when I was supposed to be at the fair enjoying myself?
We talked with a gentleman who looked to be in his fifties. He was upset as well. He made some tongue-in-cheek remarks that the busses should just run over the protestors. A few high school age kids behind us made similar remarks. I didn’t respond, but I did offer some updates from Twitter that streets were being reopened.

My brother and I finally got in the gate around 4 p.m. It was enough time to see some people, get some food, look at some animals, and walk around to some sites before the concert. By the time we got our beers at the Grandstand, I had forgotten all about the protests.

I think this protest was pretty small compared to some earlier BLM actions. I think people were right to be annoyed by it, but I don’t think it put anyone’s life in danger. (Unlike shutting down highways and airports.)

I decided to just enjoy myself at the Fair. I wasn’t going to let my day be ruined by protests, any people wearing Trump t-shirts, or the smell coming from the barn animals. I figured everyone just wanted to enjoy themselves at the fair and stuff their faces with fried food and other goodies.

Maybe I need to work at examining things on a macro level on a more regular basis. There are very few people in this world who are out to get you and ruin your day. (Internet conversations not included in this statement.) Sometimes all people want to do is walk around, or help support a cause they believe in. And sometimes you just have to have a good day in spite of all those other people.

We left the fair at about 10:45 and got some food for the road. My brother got another round of cheese curds, while I got a pronto pup. (Ok, well the eight dollars I paid for that did put a slight damper on my evening.) But overall, it was a nice cap to a tiring and fun day.

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